Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Skjellum, Anthony

Committee Member

Kanevsky, Arkady

Committee Member

Reese, Donna

Committee Member

Banicescu, Ioana

Committee Member

Little, Rainey

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Computer Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Engineering


Department of Computer Science


This study considers software techniques for improving performance on clusters of workstations and approaches for designing message-passing middleware that facilitate scalable, parallel processing. Early binding and overlapping of communication and computation are identified as fundamental approaches for improving parallel performance and scalability on clusters. Currently, cluster computers using the Message-Passing Interface for interprocess communication are the predominant choice for building high-performance computing facilities, which makes the findings of this work relevant to a wide audience from the areas of high-performance computing and parallel processing. The performance-enhancing techniques studied in this work are presently underutilized in practice because of the lack of adequate support by existing message-passing libraries and are also rarely considered by parallel algorithm designers. Furthermore, commonly accepted methods for performance analysis and evaluation of parallel systems omit these techniques and focus primarily on more obvious communication characteristics such as latency and bandwidth. This study provides a theoretical framework for describing early binding and overlapping of communication and computation in models for parallel programming. This framework defines four new performance metrics that facilitate new approaches for performance analysis of parallel systems and algorithms. This dissertation provides experimental data that validate the correctness and accuracy of the performance analysis based on the new framework. The theoretical results of this performance analysis can be used by designers of parallel system and application software for assessing the quality of their implementations and for predicting the effective performance benefits of early binding and overlapping. This work presents MPI/Pro, a new MPI implementation that is specifically optimized for clusters of workstations interconnected with high-speed networks. This MPI implementation emphasizes features such as persistent communication, asynchronous processing, low processor overhead, and independent message progress. These features are identified as critical for delivering maximum performance to applications. The experimental section of this dissertation demonstrates the capability of MPI/Pro to facilitate software techniques that result in significant application performance improvements. Specific demonstrations with Virtual Interface Architecture and TCP/IP over Ethernet are offered.



performance metrics||cluster computing||message-passing middleware||parallel processing||parallel performance||MPI||overlapping of communication and computation||early binding